Gardener’s almanac provides expert monthly checklist

It’s time to make changes in the garden. Those who haven’t started yet are encouraged to get onboard and begin the adventure. The Gardener’s Almanac produced by Utah State University Extension is an expert checklist full of successful tips for gardeners.

LOGAN — April showers bring May flowers – as well as a plethora of gardening tasks. Utah State University Extension’s Gardener’s Almanac provides a checklist for each month as well as links for tips and further information.

May checklist

• Plant warm-season vegetables and annual flowers once the threat of the last frost has passed. Data is available for three cities in Sanpete County. The average last frost date in Moroni is June 2, with a growing season of 109 days. In Ephraim, the average last frost date is May 27, growing season of 121 days. Manti’s average last frost date is May 24, with a growing season of 125 days.

Keep in mind that the dates are averages and can vary greatly. Be prepared with covers to protect cold sensitive plants into June. Keep the covers for use in the fall when temperatures begin to fall.

For a listing of the average last and first frost dates in other areas of Utah, visit http://extension.usu.edu/news_sections/gardening/fickle-climate-keeps-gardeners-guessing.

• By planting tomatoes deeper, they are able to form more roots along the stem, creating a more vigorous plant.

• Consider planting sweet corn in the garden every other week (until early July) to extend the harvest.

• Consider the various types of fertilizers. For information on traditional fertilizer options, visit https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1148&context=extension_curall. For information on organic fertilizers, visit https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1147&context=extension_curall.

• Thin out overcrowded seedlings using a pair of scissors, trying to avoid disturbing the young roots.

• Protect fruit blossoms and tender garden plants from late freezing temperatures. For information on critical temperatures in fruit, visit https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1643&context=extension_curall.

• Plant summer-blooming bulbs including gladiola, begonia, dahlia and canna.

• Divide warm-season ornamental grasses when new growth begins to emerge.

• It’s already time to take notice of weeds. For weed control information, visit https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1829&context=extension_curall.

• Allow the foliage of spring blooming bulbs (tulips, daffodils and crocus) to die down before cutting the leaves off.

• For information on planting a lawn, visit https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1769&context=extension_histall.

• Turfgrass needs minimal irrigation each week. To learn about irrigation needs in your area, visit https://slowtheflow.org/tools-and-resources/#guide.

• In compacted sites, aerate with hollow core aerator when turfgrass is actively growing (April – June).

• Control broadleaf weeds in the lawn when temperatures are between 60 and 80 F. Follow the label and stop use of broadleaf herbicides once the temperature is above 85 F.

• Apply a slow-release lawn fertilizer to provide a long-lasting effect throughout the summer months

Pests, problems

• Monitor newly planted vegetables for cutworm and flea beetle damage.

• Monitor for cankerworm damage on scrub oak and Box Elder trees along the foothills.

• Monitor for aphids on lush new spring growth on a variety of plants. Treat for aphids by using “softer” solutions such as spraying them with a hard stream of water or by using an insecticidal soap.

• Monitor for slugs and snails. These pests thrive in moist, cool areas of the garden and landscape, feeding on a variety of plant hosts.

• Protect Ash trees from the lilac-ash borer around the first of May.

• Control codling moth in apples and pears to reduce wormy fruit. For specific timing, see the Utah Pests Advisories online at https://pestadvisories.usu.edu/.

• Treat for powdery mildew on apples beginning when leaves are emerging (at ½-inch green) until June.

• Watch for insect pests in raspberries from mid-May thru early June.

• Watch for cutworm damage in turfgrass and new vegetable starts.

• Monitor for damaging turfgrass insects. In areas previously damaged, consider a preventative (systemic) insecticide. For more information, visit https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1974&context=extension_curall.

The Gardener’s Almanac provides monthly tips delivered to subscribers via email year-round. To subscribe, visit https://extension.usu.edu/yardandgarden/monthly-tips.

For information specific to areas in Sanpete County, visit http://extension.usu.edu/sanpete/ or call (435) 283-3472 or drop in for a visit at 325 West 100 North, Ephraim. Office hours are Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., or by appointment.